Independent Leeds Magazine Issue 13 www.independentleeds.co.uk
Suffragette City Sometimes it can take a lifetime to create positive change. Often it can take another to affirm it. Now here we are, a hundred years on from a famously significant step, and we've still not made it. Gender equality, to state the bleedin' obvious, hasn't happened. But once again, the good people are standing up, and continually, the world will progress; towards fairness, and towards inclusivity. So, in this issue, we celebrate the vital contribution of women in Leeds, from a heroic past, through an essential present, to a hopeful future.
Poems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Nina Hunter successfully works in many techniques, including oil painting, drawing, watercolours, digital illustration and typography. Using fine art, Nina explores feminine themes and is currently holding an exhibition of oil paintings entitled "Womankind" at Remedy Bar in Leeds.
Leeds By Example. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
ď&#x2026; @ninahunter www.ninahunter.com
Editor John Barran : firstname.lastname@example.org Fancy contributing drop him a line!
Diggers Island Discs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 16 Tech Tales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 20 Hello Ilkley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Sales Sarah Laycock : email@example.com Anything else
22 She's Got It . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 26 Come Find Us. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 30 For The Love Of Leeds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
34 Entitlement Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 39 Independent York . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 46 Sign Of The Times. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
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48 Taste Hunter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
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53 It's Not Just A Man's World. . . . . . . . . . . . 53
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With These Hands. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 60 What's Up Leeds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
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WHAT'S NEW / WHAT'S ON / WHAT'S GOING ON! independntleeds Independent Leeds September 2017 Colour.indd 1
Words: E.R Chapman Words: Kayleigh Campbell
Be like Leonora Cohen You must worry about the birth. That indescribable, unpredictable, unfathomable rite of passage to Motherhood. No, I tell them. Blood, amniotic fluid, legs akimbo under bright clinical lights with tremors sharper than your first heartbreak do not scare me. Eternal nurturing of a living wonder that will look to her mother for every drop of guidance is more frightening than bodily trauma. I will embrace it with shaky open arms. My footprints shall cocoon hers, my tears will join the river which forms from hers. Then distance will be kept when the time comes. Simply, I shall tell her to be unafraid. Be a yellow light amongst the white. Shake away mistakes like moths from clothes. Throw stones at walls containing wrongful things. Throw yourself into deep waters. Treat the mirror like a newborn child. Be lightning, bursting through the darkest clouds.
Words: Pia Lara @pialarafit
Devine Feminine The female form is art, A victor against the hands, Who tried to pry it apart, A woman’s body, we all admire, But to live with the ramifications of womanhood, Makes us all survivors, There is little that measures up to the magic of the marks on my skin, Reminding me everyday, How much my body can bend, but not break in, My stretch marks, my scars, the fat on my thighs, We all carry them in different ways, They have different stories, they’re in different places, We got our marks at different ages, But I can’t think of anything so precious, As the marks left behind from carrying a child, The female body is a miracle, A vessel, a portal, in which our souls meet our physical, Strong enough to carry life, Soft enough to nurture it through, The divine feminine lives in me, She lives in you.
Just Like In The Adverts just like on the small screen magazines bus stops and billboards because just like in the movies just isn’t realistic that world behind the little lens though now that’s achievable those glossy pics of feminine lips around asparagus or chips pursed into an ‘O’ with an exclamation point because every girl wants a meaty seven incher sandwich that’ll “blow your mind away” even if they’re vegetarian because what’s a girl if she doesn’t come with a butter knife some bread some fillings? even a CEO a doctor an artist what kind of girl doesn’t want a life just like in the adverts? how about a slicked down high-fashion ad? of a woman in stilettos pinned down oiled-up with three men looking on?
because that lens says sex happens for men and to women because boys are taught about condoms erections female genitals are grey-ed out in textbooks both are left without the small print has anyone ever noticed that most porn doesn’t involve the hands? because they get in the way of the money shot we are not taught to caress we are taught to take be taken from when I went to university my mother bought me a rape alarm told me to be careful male friends were told have fun if that’s what normal is then we must rewrite normal I am the protagonist of my own story not just the picture on the opposite page I am not a butterfly pinned to a velvet box A snapped-stem flower to be pressed the punch line of a joke a punching bag if you shook me you would hear the twinkling of broken glass the flutter of torn up paper from the ceilings I have taken my fists to magazine covers I’ve ripped to shreds from when I smashed my way out from behind the screen out from behind that lens I refuse to be a day-time fantasy a night-time clip viewed with curtains closed lights off and no hands because we are not just like adverts the small screen the magazines we will not be skipped or scrolled past
Words: Lauren Hockney Illustration: Bobbi Rae @bearcubs
Abbey House Museum 20/1/18 – 31/12/18 Exhibition FREE with admission leeds.gov.uk/awomansplace
Leeds over the years has been home to some of the countries most influential women - women who have helped to shape female history thanks to their rebellious nature and strong attitudes towards gender equality.
One of many was Leeds born suffragette Leonora Cohen, who was one of the initial women that campaigned heavily for the right for women to vote - a right that was finally granted in 1918 and was a huge step forward in the bid for gender equality. There was also Sue Ryder, a humanitarian dedicated to the relief of suffering who was born in our city. Her work started during World War 2 when she helped people displaced from their homes, and her legacy still continues to this day. More recently, The Spice Girls played a pivotal role in pop culture at showcasing the difference in women - whether that be race, class and femininity. Mel B from the group taught young
girls how to embrace being a woman and reminded us how important friendship and supporting other girls is. And in 2012, boxer Nicola Adams showed us that there’s nothing wrong with hitting like a girl when she became an Olympic gold medalist, an achievement she received again in 2016. This ever-growing list not only shows the diversity of skills that females in Leeds obtain, but how each has helped pave a path for gender equality. This ideology is something which is also translated through female creatives and collectives in Leeds who want to empower other girls to be the best they can. We spoke to some to learn about what they do and how they help our city.
Illustrations ©Jacky Fleming
GIRL GANG LEEDS
One day last June, we got a Facebook message off a girl in Leeds. She wanted to come to our event that night, but had nobody to go with. She was shy and super nervous. In true girl gang style, we swept her up and made sure she had an amazing night - and now, that shy girl is one of our best pals, and she’s out there killin’ it at roller derby whilst juggling life as a student nurse - she’s our hero.
I have always been a maker and creative person, but my true passion lies in sharing skills with others and using craft as a tool to empower and support people to improve their own wellbeing. Knitting, crochet and working with yarns is something I have always found to be particularly therapeutic, and as I started to mix my craft skills with my youth and community work, I realised the need to make these opportunities more accessible and help keep craft alive, so Stitch-Up was born.
That’s why communities and collectives like ours are so important. We want to give women and non-binary people an opportunity - whether that’s a young artist having a space to showcase their work, a girl band getting the headline slot, or just someone looking for a friend - we aim to empower and uplift. We want to boost people’s confidence, give them a space to share themselves and meet each other. Being on your own is really hard. Whether it’s a bad break-up, a job change, moving to a new city, working for yourself - everyone feels alone sometimes. Making positive connections is so important, particularly for women and non-binary people who often lack the confidence. Equality, feminism and activism doesn’t have to be aggressive, you don’t need placards and a megaphone to make a positive change. Sometimes it’s the little things which make a big difference - and creating safe, inclusive spaces for women and queer people in this city is our small radical act to make Leeds a better place.
Stitch-Up is a Community Craft School and it was very important to me that I set it up as a true social enterprise, meaning benefiting people and communities in a positive way remains at the heart of what we do, always. My main aim was to help make learning a textile craft more available to all rather than being a luxury, and through working closely with other community organisations we work hard to reach those that may be vulnerable, in need of extra support, have little access to creative opportunities or are at risk of isolation. We work mainly with women and young people, and over the last few years we’ve worked all over Leeds, passing on knit and crochet skills through workshops and courses in the heart of communities, including Little London, Harehills, Hyde Park, Armley, Headingley and Seacroft.
Not only do our sessions allow people to take time to enjoy being creative, they have a real positive impact on people’s lives by building skills and confidence, raising aspirations, helping people to cope with everyday stress and anxiety and creating a strong social network and common interest within that community. It means everything to me to see people go on to carry on running their own groups, starting up small craft businesses and building really meaningful friendships which have ultimately improved lives. I’ve also learnt so much and am inspired by the amazing women I meet and work with every day. Along the way I’ve been lucky to meet so many other makers and creative people who want to share their craft and use their skills for good but don’t know how to go about it, so I started to provide mentoring and volunteering opportunities and work collaboratively with makers to help them start teaching and connecting with communities. Due to demand, we’ve also developed a range of beginners craft workshops which are open for everyone to attend, utilising the skills of our wider network to help us fund our community work alongside working hard to bring in support from local funding, with the aim of becoming financially sustainable in the not so distant future.
FREEDOM 4 GIRLS
MODES OF EXPRESSION
The world without sex education and sanitary protection would look like a very different place. It’s of paramount importance for the empowerment of women to be safe, healthy and have access to an education. Sanitary facilities are a basic human right. It’s an education which perpetuates gender equality; aimed at all who menstruate – even boys, men and those who don’t, by a means of breaking down the stigma which surrounds the subject.
Known for our bright and bold mural work, which can be found scattered around our city, I think it’s important to explain that Modes’ is not simply about the creative gratification of two kindred artists. By sharing the empowerment that we found in making; offering creative workshops for all ages and abilities, we have been able to communicate with a great number of people in diverse locations, through large-scale abstract artwork.
Freedom4Girls aims to prevent or relieve poverty among girls and women in the UK and worldwide by providing and assisting in the provision of sanitary products such as sustainable, washable, reusable pads, Mooncups or disposable sanitary care. Offering a service that is available to everyone, we pay close attention to those who find it difficult to access safe sanitary protection. We also advance UK and worldwide education in the subject of menstruation and sanitary protection, whilst promoting research into the economic, social and environmental impacts of period poverty in the UK and worldwide.
Working with many divergent communities, we are at great vantage to see a real lack of engagement between public art and its audiences – which poses a problem for everyone. Public artworks should be made with the public in mind, and its audiences should feel a level of ownership toward these artworks; that they are expected to respect, admire and take care of, in the hearts of their towns and cities, for years to come. It’s of our opinion that local communities ought to be involved in the development of new public artworks; to offer direction and have their voices heard. It is liberation of the unique perspective which fuels the collective development – in this case, an artwork which brings people together on an even platform - and serves as a tribute to the positive results of an engaged community.
We work with lots of local women’s refugee and refuge charities and schools to provide sanitary protection. Fareshare have been instrumental in helping delivering the donations. Collaborating with Days for Girls and with Inkwell Arts; we also run monthly workshops, sewing washable, reusable sanitary products. Internationally we work with schools in Kenya to deliver sewing workshops which help to produce washable, reusable sanitary pads that last 3 years, whilst also providing a menstrual health education.
We understand the need for an open and therapeutic space for local residents to meet up and talk about their community, in order to feel like they’re a part of it. All of our workshops aim to be as accessible as possible. As two women working in the arts, inclusivity is something we have not always been subject to, and a lack-of is something which we fundamentally disagree with. We believe that it is by bringing different people together and giving a platform to their dialogues that truth can be found and perceptions can begin to change.
Working as a small team, we operate with some big companies, charities and the media to spread the word worldwide. We hopefully will be increasing our donation stations and developing the concept of free vending machines for public spaces, whilst also working with a large distributor to support their pilot of education and supplying products into schools in Leeds & Bradford. Last year, we helped arrange the first period poverty summit, Break the Barriers, in Leeds, with the support of Plan international UK. We believe we have come a very long way in a very short time. We will keep supplying and educating and applying for research and other funding to reach our ultimate aim, but with over 300 million women to support, we need all the help we can get, and so have a gofundme to reach our goal with the help of supporters worldwide.
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23 March – 26 Oct 2018 at Lotherton HIGH ALTITUDE HIGH FASHION Visit: leeds.gov.uk/lotherton
Words: Lucy Scarisbrick Photography: Kirsty Garland @photogarland
Digger's Island Discs
FIVE POINTS Equality
SHEILA E A Love Bizarre
Juanita Holloway produced this record in 1981, and much to my dismay, it still rings true - “What’s good for you is good for me, I don’t want it all just equality.” Women’s rights are human rights and to hold women back holds us all back - the evidence of this is seen in the health of women, children and adolescents. All genders. (Source, Rajat Khosla of the World Health Organisation). Incidentally, this is one of the first records I ever spent (relatively) big bucks on, in spite of the yawning chasm of my gender pay gap and the money I fritter away on VAT included tampons.
Strictly speaking, this is a duet with Prince - even the most casual Prince fans (although I doubt such a thing can exist) will recognise a familiar vocal sat under Sheila’s, coupled with a classic Paisley Park sound. Prince was an incredible ally to women, giving a platform to talent and challenging perceptions of gender and binary gender roles in himself and his lyrics. Sheila takes centre stage as the named artist and in the video, and rightly so in my opinion, as it’s her percussion that makes it.
CATHY DENNIS Just Another Dream OMG I LOVE CATHY DENNIS. She’s a brilliant pop songwriter (About You Now by the Sugababes - real talk) as well as an artist in her own right. I fell in love with her watching the video for Just Another Dream in the early 90s, being all pale and ginger and camerashy and herself, and I still love her now. Did I mention I love Cathy Dennis?
Digger’s Island Discs explores the collections of Leeds’ most prolific vinyl slingers and groove bringers to present us with the records they could not live without. This time selecting five favourite records of women’s strength and human equality is Leeds’ finest disco DJ Lucy Locket. Lucy is formerly a resident of legendary club night Speedqueen, now to be found at pumping gay dance party Love Muscle and leading the DJ workshops for Equaliser - a Leeds collective promoting cis women, trans women, non binary and trans people in electronic music.
CHAKA KHAN Our Love’s in Danger I can’t imagine my record collection without Chaka Khan in it. This is an album track off Naughty, released in 1980 and written by another one of my musical backbones, Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson. Valerie’s composition and arrangement is peerless for me; I love the maximum drama setting on the instrumentation for the entire 3 minutes 35 seconds, off-set by the one fuck Chaka has left to give.
In association with
JEANIE TRACY Sing Your Own Song Jeanie sung back up vocals for Sylvester (and a host of others) as well as releasing her own album, of which this is the opening track - later remixed by Patrick Cowley in 1984. If you’re ever in need of a reminder to trust your instincts in opposition to what others are telling you, have a listen. Jeanie knows. And scroll to the bottom of the jeanietracy.com home page for a follow up lesson in self-belief.
Words: Clare Devine @clarecodes Illustration: John Pearson @johnjpearson
such as Ladies of Code Leeds, which is a community of women of all ages and abilities that have a love for technology, and coding in particular, as well as LeedsJS, Leeds Front End and Agile Yorkshire all these events will help you build up a network of people that could become invaluable when searching for a job in tech. There are challenges, including the gender pay gap, but we are working together to remove this, and it’s not stopping many people from entering the industry. Recently, I read a statistic that said only 28% of women in tech actually hold a degree in computer science. This shows two things: the first is that there are so many jobs in technology that don’t require coding knowledge, such as business analysts, scrum masters and product owners; and secondly, it shows that we are shattering the norms of society and are persisting to be a part of one of the fastest paced industries in the world - degree or no degree! Women have a huge impact on the technology industry in Leeds, and our community is thriving,
What are your thoughts on technology? Do you hate it and want to escape from its presence? Or do you love it and want to be a part of its growth? If it’s the latter, then what do you think is holding you back? The answer should be nothing! Independentleeds.co.uk
as highlighted by the annual Empowering Women conference. And you don’t even have to leave your house to become a part of this community - all can be easily found on Twitter, talking about the newest technologies we are using or lifting up the women around us for their achievements. I can happily say that it is one of the most welcoming and caring communities I am a part of, where everyone is looking out for each other. Another of my biggest inspirations is Northern Power Women, which is a campaign to accelerate gender diversity in the North of England. They have a fantastic podcast, which alongside Girlboss Radio feel so empowering, and they have an annual conference which celebrates women at different stages of their career for being total girl bosses! On their website they have all the awards given out, and the women who received them, with a little mention on what they have done. This is great motivation, as you feel in awe of all of them - and there is no reason why that couldn’t be you the following year!
Showcasing the breadth of work produced by graduating students. 18 – 23 May 09 – 14 June
Words & Illustration: Emma Saynor @emma_illustrates
Starting out as one part of the Ilkley Summer Festival, Ilkley Jazz Festival is now its own annual 5 day event, aimed to bring performances of different styles and original artists, and to open up opportunities for local and more well-known performers. There is also free education events suited to all abilities and plans to get bigger each year. The 2018 Jazz Festival is being held on the 15th-19th of August and will host 30 different performances over 10 different venues supporting artists and local businesses in Ilkley.
Ilkley’s literature festival has been going for over 40 years and is a major event that has a team working on its planning all year round. This year it will run from the 28th September to 14th October and, like every year, will include residencies, literary walks, discussions, commissions, workshops, exhibitions and performances. The festival works with schools and universities to deliver educational literary programmes, and they also run year round groups and a summer school to encourage and teach young writers.
After a long walk on the moors, a sit down in one of Ilkley’s many tea rooms or cafes is usually needed. Tea and cake is in no short supply in Ilkley.
A little bit out of Ilkley is the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, where you can take an hour trip on a vintage steam locomotive. The railway has beautiful views of the countryside, and the site hosts various events for young and old throughout the year.
Founded in 1896, Ilkley Cycling Club is the largest cycle club in the UK, with over 700 members. It aims to encourage the activity, both as sport and recreation, and to provide opportunities for members to race and enjoy cycling in Ilkley. The club hosts weekly rides, a route library, events, trips and training sessions.
Just opposite the train station is the King’s Hall and Winter Gardens, two event spaces; The King’s Hall is a Victorian Theatre and the Winter Gardens a glass-roofed hall. These spaces host a variety of events, such as theatre performances, concerts and weddings.
Ilkley has its own lido, one of the last in the UK, which is open from May to September, and an indoor swimming pool open all year round, only a short walk from the centre of town.
Ilkley Summer Festival runs for a whole month through August. It starts with ‘Yorkshire Day on the 1st and ends in ‘Rock for Heroes’ on the 31st, and includes a continental market, concerts in venues, and in the bandstand in the centre of Ilkley, heritage walks and exhibitions. summerfestival.ilkley.org/ Ilkley Moor makes the town a great place for walking. It is protected by The Friends of Ilkley Moor who work closely with the council to preserve and improve the area and its wildlife. They also aim to encourage appreciation of the ecology and history of the moor, and work with schools, youth organisations and local residents in this, through activities and reporting concerns.
Ilkley has a good range of craft shops, and a whole store devoted to buttons. You can also make and design pottery in the Create Cafe, which has workshops and a gallery. Open on Saturdays and Sundays, the Ilkley Toy Museum has a vast collection of toys, old (350BC!) to new. Starting only three years ago, the film festival has screened films to over 11,000 people across Ilkley’s venues, large and small, including the King’s Hall. After a break, the 5 day festival will return this year, promising some more live scoring of films, which has been popular in the past. ilkleyfilmfestival.weebly.com
Illustration: Catherine Pape @catherinenoel
She’s got it It’s 2018 and we’re still discussing gender equality a t work. From pay gaps to traditional jobs for specific genders, there remains some way to go. Here, 3 women who have successfully entered male-domina ted industries discuss their experiences. Rivka Uttley I see it on the audience’s faces as I step on the stage. Sometimes I’ll hear a sigh. A little groan here and there. But it doesn’t bother me anymore, because I know I’ll prove them wrong. Whatever you thought about ‘female comedians’ is wrong. The negative comments mostly come from other women, and they think they’re paying a compliment. “I don’t usually find women funny, but you were really good!” What about your friends love, do you not find your friends funny? They think I’m the exception to the rule, that a female comic is a bad comic. They think I’m a unicorn. It’s not a compliment. It just means that because I’m a woman, I’m already on the back foot when I pick up the mic.
relatively few and far between, but it does happen, and it’s ridiculous.
because “people always need plumbers”. Tell boys it’s rewarding to work in caring roles. Tell them all the same things. Certain industries are always going to dominated by one gender, and that’s absolutely fine, but it’s 2018. If you think someone is less capable of something JUST because she’s a woman, you need to have a word with yourself.
Katie Marriott I started off my career as an academic after studying for my PhD in Chemistry, so I have always been in a male dominated industry. As far as I am aware, I am the only female brewer in the Leeds Metropolitan area, which boasts around 20 commercial breweries. The community is fantastic, with breweries helping each other out and supporting one another. It’s very rare that the Leeds brewing scene feels like a ‘Boy’s Club’. I first became interested in Real Ale in my early 20’s. I joined the Real Ale Society at University and was pleased to see a number of fellow females, including the President. I later joined CAMRA and have been an active member for the last nine years, currently I am the Vice Chair of the Leeds Branch.
There’s a flip side to that coin though. Women are under-represented in comedy, and the ones that are around, aren’t all great. That’s just the truth of it. There are people that think there should be a 50/50 split, male and female, on comedy nights. There are people that get angry about a night where every comic is a man, and there are promoters who will strive to always have a woman on the bill.
Running a brewery is a lot of fun and a lot of hard work for anyone, although there are added frustrations being a woman with a male employee. People often assume Ross, Nomadic Beer’s Head Brewer, is the one running the show, from delivery drivers to reps trying to sell us ingredients and equipment. Leeds has a vibrant beer scene with many female employees in varying roles who are just as knowledgeable and passionate about their work.
That’s not what I want.
I grew up with Absolutely Fabulous, French and Saunders and idolising Victoria Wood. So, I never knew it would be a thing. Why would I? But once I decided that I wanted to do stand-up, and I started looking into how to go about it, it became apparent that it most definitely is a thing. If I wanted to do this, it was going to be hard. And it might be that little bit more hard, because I have a vagina.
I’ve been to loads of gigs where every comic is a man, and I’ve not been annoyed or felt something was missing. I’ve performed at gigs where the male comics are outnumbered, and it’s been equally great. I don’t want to be booked to fill a quota, I want to be booked because I’m good. ONLY because I’m good. Saying that though, if you feel you need to throw a woman into the mix to do your bit for feminism, I’m always going to take advantage of that. I’m a hypocrite.
Though I haven’t experienced it myself, every comic has heard the stories. “So-and-so promoter took soand-so comic off the bill, because he already had a woman on that night.” And female comics get introduced onto the stage as “a woman”. They’re
Ideally though, I just want people to be chosen for something because they’re the best person for the job, regardless of their gender. That’s my dream. Isn’t that what everyone wants? Give everyone the same opportunities. Tell girls to learn a trade
There have been a few negative experiences being a woman in these male dominated societies. Volunteering at Beer Festivals can be frustrating, with people (both men and women) assuming you don’t know the product or can’t help with recommendations. I have even been congratulated for being able to chair a meeting successfully! Luckily, these incidents are few and far between, and with the events such as Fem.Ale and Women on Tap showcasing women in the beer industry, they are becoming less and less.
Traditionally, brewing was a woman’s role until the production of beer became commercialised and men took it up. Now in the UK there are a number of breweries owned and ran by women, such as Brewsters Brewery (Grantham) and Loch Lomond Brewery (Alexandria) and a number of head brewers for larger brewing companies, such as Fuller’s Brewery, are also women. Hopefully, our presence encourages women who would like to enter the brewing industry, and it will become more accepted by society as an equal job for all.
Michelle Sutcliffe I first got into boxing by way of my husband Gary, who convinced me while competing as a Thai boxer. The attitude initially was very disappointing, as it was frowned upon by many men in the game. Thankfully, this has changed over the years, as we can see from the Olympics. I became a 3 times world professional champion competing in numerous countries. This achievement was enormous to me, as fighting inside the ring was only one part of my fighting. There were some road blocks along the way, with mainly old fashion attitudes towards women boxing. My husband and trainer often had the comment of “why do you let your wife box?” His reply was always the same; “why does your wife let you box?” I’ve also met some wonderful people and made many new friends throughout competing and training. Meeting and knowing another Yorkshire lass, Barbara Buttrick from Cottingham, the original and early pioneer world champion who boxed throughout the 40’s and 50’s, was a real inspiration. At our gym, classes are aimed at all levels and mixed, but we do run one session for ladies only - which works well for total beginners who wish to build up their confidence. The reaction is fantastic overall and helps many women for different reasons. We also have numerous ladies coming through to compete and have a national junior champion in our ranks. I can’t speak for other sports, but in boxing we are seeing more women take it up for fitness training, as well as for competing. On top of this, they are coming through the instructing courses to become the trainers of the future for men and women. So I’m very pleased to have been one the pioneers to have broken down many barriers to allow other women to enjoy the sport. It’s important that women are allowed to try any activity which may or may not be male dominated, so they can find something that could be ideal for each individual. Many more will have the opportunity to become professional sports people in the their own right, and I think the future looks very promising for women’s sports and equality.
Words: Emma Hardaker @comefindusleeds Photography: Danny Marsh @opusphotografix
For this special issue of Independent Leeds, I’m sharing some of my favourite female-led projects from the Come Find Us tours, featuring brilliant women, who constantly inspire and innovate through the work they do.
On the first Friday of the month you’re likely to see myself dressed in a matching beret and sash reading ‘Come Find Us Guide’ - leading a tour of up to 50 people from The Old Red Bus Station on a journey to our creative community’s beloved Mabgate area, on the northeastern periphery of town. My mission is to give people an alternative Friday night out in Leeds and a friendly introduction to the incredible range of amazing creative stuff that’s happening right under our noses.
As a female artist who’s been working in the Mabgate area for over 5 years, I am increasingly aware of the corporate development and rapid pace of change that’s happening on my doorstep. I wanted to create a project to raise awareness for the organisations and Artists working there - who could be at threat from all of these changes - and to generate excitement and curiosity about the area.
The first one is from the Heritage special tour we did in September last year, hosted by Alice Withers and Lucy Courtney Clegg of art collective ‘Reet So’. Reet So’s aim is to encourage thought and play, through creating socially engaged experiences for the general public. Their work manifests itself in a variety of forms including installation, performance and workshops. For this, they worked with Leeds Civic Trust, looking into Mabgate and surrounding areas to create a bespoke tour exploring the history of the area. They brought it to life with performances based on reports from old articles about the area, alongside local stories of folklore. It was a unique experience that not only entertained but educated attendees, providing context and a fresh perspective on these culturally rich areas.
Come Find Us has been running for just over a year, aimed at bringing attention to often overlooked cultural activities and venues such as Live Art Bistro and Lady Beck studios, just a short walk out of the city centre. Through the course of an evening the tour takes in artists’ studios, exhibitions, performances and more... with a few drinks along the way!
Another of my favourite features was a workshop by Nora Hammenberg at Patrick Studios. Nora has just set up Stone Tree Press, an independent, fine art lithography workshop in Leeds and is a certificated printer by the Tamarind Institute. She also studied printmaking at Gotheburg School of Art and at Ålgårdens Print Workshop and Galleries. So, as you can imagine, with that level of skill and specialist knowledge, the demonstration and workshop she produced were another level of inspiring. Those on the tour that evening were treated to a live demo with Nora and were encouraged to get involved and have a go themselves. These are just a couple of examples of the wonderful female artists at events we have had, with so much more to come from a unique selection of makers, creators and innovators eager to share their craft. comefindusleeds.co.uk
We take our attendees on a journey to uncover hidden gems that a lot of people don’t realise exist. The project has been a great success, providing a regular platform to showcase the wonderful grass roots initiatives happening in the east of the city and create a lasting legacy for the area. A way to celebrate what Leeds has to offer and shine a light on our vibrant and unique artist-made cultural district.
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For the Love of Leeds
Nadine Oxley opened the marvellous Temple Coffee and Donuts in Leeds last year. In the latest instalment of our For the Love of Leeds series, she celebrates other Leeds women who are running equally amazing businesses.
Another Chapel Allerton favourite of mine is The Little Book Shop, my daughter is 3 years old so books are a BIG part of life for her at the moment (and hopefully forever!). This place is owned by a trio of ladies and they are killing it. Great childrens books for a vast age range, loads of story-telling and other activities and they do a fabulous oatmilk latte.
I’ve lived in Leeds on and off since I was 18. I’ve had stints living all over the UK, Germany, Sweden, California, New York and Korea... out of all of those places, Leeds is the one I’ve always been drawn back to and for me feels like home. It was the only place I felt comfortable starting my own physical store. Owning an independent is the best and the hardest thing in the world, I have a lot of respect for anyone out there doing it.
Through Temple I met Rosie, she is based in Leeds and runs the UK’s first female owned sneaker store. It’s called Second Store and the name is derived from Simone de Beauvoir’s feminist text ‘The Second Sex’ and she is delving in to a market that’s been dominated by men for a long time. It’s a super brave move, I used to manage a skate shop in the city center called Exit, and I know from experience it is a hard industry to be taken seriously in as a female, so I admire her greatly and hope to do some events with her at the café in the future!
Obviously through my years of being here (and drinking on Call Lane, haha) I’ve met a lot of amazing people. It makes me so happy to see that so many of my friends now run their own successful businesses. Some of these people are male... but for this I’m going to focus on the strong independent Leeds ladies that are fellow retail business owners. One of my most frequented spots is The Mustard Pot in Chapel Allerton. It’s owned by my beautiful friend Nicola. When I first met Nic she owned a tiny bar called Franks on North Street in town. It was a great little gem, and I’m sure a lot of people have fond memories of nights there. When I heard she had taken on a new place out of town I assumed it was going to be a similar type of space, so when I saw the size of the Mustard Pot I was blown away. Real fires, loads of indoor seating, nice bright windows, a great menu (inc. vegan options), and an INSANE beer garden that is kid friendly. Everyone’s dream pub.
Then last (but definitely not least) is Elly from That Old Chestnut Vegan Bakery. She didn’t turn us away like most of the people we approached when the idea for vegan donuts in Leeds came to us, she took time out and created a perfect donut for us and without a doubt helped us create the business we have today. Her occasion baking is insanely creative and she does this alongside the daily café wholesale products. If you’re vegan or not, her cakes are out of this world....
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Entitlement Environment Words: Hookworms
It is a statement of objective fact, raised continuously and passionately by women across the scene and for decades, that the culture of popular music has a lot to answer for.
We live in a patriarchal society, and everyone knows how strongly this is reflected at all levels of the music industry, including record companies and their structure, musicians and how they are received, instrument shops and specialist forums, in audiences and what is regarded as acceptable behaviour. There’s an enormous armoury of tools that sustains this male benefit, and any one of them could be covered at length, from the system that allows for a 49% gender pay gap at Warner, to the tacit acceptance of sexual assaults in venues, to the framing of women and their music in reviews. I don’t live in the female subject position, and so am not best placed to comment on the experience, yet even though these connections are really easy to see, they can be dismissed, and that’s a testament to how naturalised gendered concepts have become, and how deep some of the changes really need to be.
We are very conscious of the platform afforded to us by our music, and have always felt a big responsibility to use that visibility - we try our best but could do better. Fundamentally, even apolitical music is political - if you, as a band, follow the path of least resistance, it only means you end up affirming all of rock music’s worst habits - what you believe about yourself and about your good ethics may be irrelevant. We have regretfully concluded that some of our own shows have worsened in terms of unacceptable male behaviour, and we’ve tried to address that head-on this year. There’s a tendency to put it down to larger audiences, but that would be the most revealing and depressing conclusion of all: that bigger audiences mean men will necessarily not behave appropriately or inclusively. We don’t accept that this should be the case.
We have to do more, and we’ve got to do it better. This year, we’ve moved to putting signage up at shows to make it absolutely clear that sexual assault and loutish behaviour won’t be tolerated, and to try and animate everyone to police this. We also encourage attendees to speak to us directly in confidence about anything at all, and to know that we will take it seriously. Fundamentally though, this needs diversification throughout - music needs fewer all-male bands like us, for example. It needs more women to shape the environment, and more tools with which to do so.
Specific changes are much harder unless sufficient people at all levels change the way they do things and support changes, often at cost. Some of this stuff is very easy, but some of it is extremely difficult and painful for us. But the reason we have the culture that we have is because it’s frankly beneficial to many artists and men in the industry to rely on the male entitlement in which western popular music has its roots - it’s very powerful and many will not give that up until the time comes that it is unacceptable for them to continue.
Although there is without doubt a high-profile conversation going on about male entitlement, I don’t at all think that this has yet bloomed into a culture of acceptance of outing unacceptable behaviour, and I don’t think that this is the place where most reports are coming from. People still pay an enormous price to take action. Many of the complaints we hear are via tweets that aren’t directed to us, and it’s extremely difficult in the venue culture in which we perform to make your feelings known if you are an audience member in trouble. People still in no way feel empowered to out specific behaviour, because of the huge emotional labour required, and the price you pay when you do so.
Positively, there are so many incredible people in the industry taking creative and costly moves. There are a number of very bold journalists who I won’t name individually, but I cannot begin to imagine how strong they need to be. We also applaud efforts to make venues more inclusive - some of this is directed at properly training staff on how to deal with complaints, so that they don’t get ignored, and also involves clear policies and procedures for accountability. It needs to be bottom-up and topdown. We also really admired the Speedy Ortiz phone hotline in 2015, which I think pushed us to do more. And we greatly support the Good Night Out Campaign and hope they get chapters all over the country - it’s real, practical efforts like this that can really change the culture.
Words: Lorna Gray @lorndawwg Illustration: Millie Rae Empson @millierae_studio
I’ve been involved in the music industry for almost a decade and it’s only recently that I’ve started to notice the need for gigs and club nights to be safer spaces for those under-represented members of society.
Not because live music audiences have suddenly become in favour of white cis males, but because I was so used to this being the case that it had never occurred to me that it could be an issue. It took a bunch of reflective moments of past experiences that were absolutely not okay for me to recognise how the homogeneity within music crowds needs to be addressed. Whilst I’m under-represented as a woman in music, I’m also aware that my being white and cis can reep certain privileges that women of colour, trans women and women with disabilities are further denied within society, and so my experiences are just that, and I can only speak on behalf of myself. These experiences, which I had once accepted as simply part of being a female gig-goer, similar to the brushing off of cat-calls in the street, ranged from a few inappropriate comments about my body when I was a minor, to being groped by anonymous attendees in the crowd as a young adult, to now feeling anxious and uncomfortable when I fail to spot many other females in a sea of loud, lewd and often intoxicated men - which may seem extreme to those who can’t relate, but given my realisation of the severity of past incidents, I feel is entirely justified.
It’s not all doom and gloom though; I’m sensing a shift in attitudes, and more importantly, in actions. Anyone with internet access could see the impact that the #MeToo movement caused, and as harrowing and hard-to-swallow as those brave accounts were, the value of not only the details themselves, but the sheer volume of hashtags cropping up across various social media channels made it a worthy cause for the whole world to see that sexism is an epidemic, and more so that women were not putting up with it anymore. Similarly in music, the way people are able to see their favourite bands, DJs and acts is also shifting to become more inclusive, accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Venues now hold zero tolerance policies and schemes that provide safe ways of getting out of potentially unsafe situations. There are so many artists doing their bit, fighting for the rights of their marginalized fans, with bands starting to openly tell of their zero tolerance outlook, and artists like Princess Nokia insisting women take priority spots at the front. It may be a while before these changes are more mainstream, and it may take an even longer time for the audiences to develop from an awkward 70% male to a healthier ratio inclusive of anyone and everyone - but it’s on the way, and if we keep pressing for the need of these changes, I’m hopeful it will happen.
Photography: Robert Hilton @roberthiltonn
b | sparkyorkcic a | spark_york x | sparkyork
OPEN NOW PICCADILLY, YORK An inspiring community of independent, local businesses housed in up-cycled shipping containers.
A home for artists, start-ups, social enterprises and makers. Enjoy beer, brewed fresh on site and eats from an eclectic range of street food traders.
For shopping, nightlife and culture, Leeds has been Yorkshire’s go-to city, whilst its North Yorkshire neighbour has been providing for tourists and nice days out. But now there seems to be a bit of a revolution brewing in York, with increasing independents popping up in the city to add a cool vibe to its original charm. Three of York’s residents and independent owners tell us more...
TOM MCKENZIE Spark
York’s attitude towards inclusivity is attractive. Community spirit is woven into the fabric of its cobbles and alleyways. Emma Grubb is a lover of plants. Her recent opening, Botanic, is a prime example of a modern, relevant retailer that already seems to have existed long beyond the mere months on which she has traded on Walmgate. My first awareness of the place was not through a recommendation or desire to find the most ornate succulent, but simply “Have you checked out plant girl’s shop? She's dead nice". The product on offer was implied, but the incentive to support was simply her character. After living in Leeds, London and Howden, she saw York as a place to lay down roots (please, pardon the pun) in a business community that was responsive, and that genuinely cared. Competition is always prevalent, but a collaborative attitude is a prerequisite here. Those who have shirked that duty are now only represented by “To-Let” signs and fading memories.
It is said to be just over 700 years since York was the capital of England. Since then, it has produced innumerable assets of national importance. Religious significance, the rail industry, horse racing, and maybe most importantly, chocolate, have contributed along the way to create a rich tapestry of industry, social movement and culture. In more recent times, a haven for the respective stags and hens of the north and a firm fixture for ‘Yorkshire family day out’ has played a part in the construction of a somewhat fragile ecology of day trippers and small ‘c’ conservative locals. It’s beautiful, undeniably. The streets wind gently towards a glorious gothic focal point, seen for miles around, and the fervent chatter of coffee chains and restaurants creates a constant ambience of warm comfortability. Today, that is changing. The importance is returning. It only takes a half glance down the quietly emptying grace of Coney Street, once at the heart of a bustling strip of retail and commerce, to evidence this. Look beyond this gently regressing giantess and you will see growth. Shoots of life and resurgence and hunger. The tea rooms prevail – long live the likes of Betty’s and W.H Browns, but these stalwarts hark back to a time when independence was relished and accepted. At present, and without doubt, the baton is slowly being levered towards a new generation. “Three years ago on Good Friday we opened. I previously managed Pizza Express, on Lendal Bridge. I went from 150 covers a night to making Murgez in a freezing kiosk on the Shambles Market. It was dead, I might've done £20 in a day.” Tarik Abdeladim is the owner of Los Moros. A North African street food operator, with a home on the redeveloped Shambles Market. In the Summer of 2017 he became York’s number one eating establishment on Trip Advisor. “Around October 2016 we sensed a turning point. The Council made some difficult decisions and ushered out some fading traders. In doing this, and investing some money in the place, they made way for change. There was a focus on making the place feel different, and suddenly, on one Saturday, we sold out. People seemed to be taking note.”
Los Moros now boasts national press coverage, a local following, and an inspired band of staff that are truly at the coal face of making change happen. York is a city of industrious hard work, resilience, and ultimately, people. Historically, trends may take longer to infiltrate the mainstream, and the ‘hipster pound’ may take more enticement to be relinquished, but when connections are made they are binding and solid. Transience and fluidity makes way for earning your stripes and building trust. Take Kiosk, a frankly miniscule café on the now acclaimed Fossgate. Two years ago, a husband, wife and close friend opened shop with passion and exuberance aplenty. The coffee was Copenhagen grade, and the food equally defining. In 2018, Russell Carr continues alone, without the support of the aforementioned, but the standard has not wavered. The menu has evolved, and the service and consumption is as enviable as ever. If you manage get a seat on a weekend, you should feel rightly blessed. And why not? You’re guaranteed real warmth, persona and sublime coffee. Each cup feels a creation, and each bite an offering. Customers become friends. Friends become furniture.
All of this is not to say that the city is without issue. The Shambles, a world heritage site but valiantly existent commercial bastion, boasting bakers, butchers, solicitors, tailors and restaurants, also lays claim to three Harry Potter memorabilia shops. They have all magically (apologies, again) appeared in the space of less than 12 months. Waste of space or thriving tourist honeypot? You decide, but fundamentally, unsustainable. Representing a polar opposite would be the Crescent Community Venue. A working men’s club just off Blossom Street, it has been given a new direction through community ownership. Joe Coates, musical curator and manager, has created a space that is accessible, inclusive and interesting. The beers are good, the bands are great and the intentioned is irrefutable. It’s an asset to the city that has enabled a platform for a thriving local music scene, with indie label Young Thugs, and acts such as The Howl and the Hum, Bull and Hello Operator all feeling the benefit. The sentiment cross-cuts everything that is good about York. The bygone operators that once put York firmly on the map shared in a people-first focus. Joseph Rowntree built an empire during York’s industrial revolution, and his benevolent attitude towards the people that helped him achieve that is felt today. He built theatres, hospitals and suburbs that still flourish. Now we enjoy world class restaurants, a burgeoning and readyto-explode artistic scene, and most importantly, a profoundly supportive group of people behind that. York’s time is now.
Throughout those years, whilst my kids were still young, I set up a market in Heslington, became a Zen Cook, and occasionally turned my house into a pop up called 'The Guerilla Café', which then became a fundraising concept during the Haiti Earthquake, joining forces with the community space, Space 109 in Walmgate, mixing art, music and food for the benefit of others. People ask me if the town has changed much since I moved here and of course it has. It has doubled in population size and it has become cosmopolitan. The rise of independent cafes, bars and delis, and their success proved that there was a local population eager to get challenged, try new things and not be patronised.
FLORENCIA CLIFFORD Partisan How big is my investment in independent culture? It is so big that I decided to jump in and open my own Café/Restaurant to avoid a beautiful building inside the city walls becoming part of a chain. Partisan was born out of stubbornness and the real conviction that it is original, independent shops that make a place like York unique and enhance the community. Why Partisan? Because we take sides! It has been such a thrill to be part of the resurgence of Micklegate as a dining destination too, together with Skosh and The Rattle Owl, and the longer established Del Rio’s and The Old Siam. York has so much to celebrate in relation to its independent scene these days.
The student population has also grown and London prices have created an interesting exodus of young talent that in the past would have lingered in the Metropolis but instead have set up home here. There is a general consensus that York is 'cool'. It feels that, at last, this is a town not just for tourists. And the tourists are also coming for the food, there are even foodie tours, like 'tours in a dish', on offer. One such venue to watch in York is working men's club The Crescent. Although undoubtedly it has been enriching the community for over 100 years, more recently it has become home to some of the most interesting acts the city has to offer, at nights such as Irie Vibes. These are York’s vinyl-only sound system and they host a reggae night every second Saturday of every month. In the front part of the venue there is funk music and a bar, and in the room at the back something magic happens, authentic old Jamaican reggae comes alive. Across ages, class, gender and race, people come together here to dance!
I am originally from Argentina, but was living in the US before I came to York in 1994. I didn’t know it then, but the country was in recession, the high street was depressed and shops were closing by the dozen. We used to walk every Saturday into town to shop in the market and have an espresso at the back of the minster in one of the few places that had a proper coffee machine. Good bread was hard to find, so we used to make it ourselves.
Valerie Pearson, who used to host Club Integral Northern Branch, bringing an Avant-garde music night straight from Hackney to York, is now doing a night called 'Spread' with other artists here too. They aim to provide a platform for experimental music, video, sound, dance and art. She told me that The Crescent has changed the possibilities for building an alternative scene in York. The Arts Barge, when finally moored and settled, will also become a fantastic alternative venue.
We rarely ate out: there was hardly anywhere to go, and most restaurants were tourist traps. I used to fantasise about opening a coffee shop then, and continued to do so for over twenty years. I wanted to feed people good food, and create a space that was personal and inviting.
I am also very excited to see Spark finally open in May, which is a wonderful platform for start-ups and community. What we need now is to continued the city's alternative growth by turning big vacant premises in the high street into independent, interesting retail shops.
STEVE HOLDING The Pig & Pastry I'm not saying "I remember when all this were fields", but I have seen some changes in York, and I'm not saying that York used to be "a bit of a dump", it's always been lucky enough to have tourism (but it was a bit of a dump). I grew up in York, in Tang Hall, in the 70's and 80's, then moved to Cambridge and London in the early 90's, and it wasn't until I returned in 2002 with a family that I realised how much had changed. I bore my kids senseless with 'what that bit of York used to be' and 'what us pre-internet kids used to do for kicks'. We spent most of our time on our bikes or hanging out down the river. My mate's dad worked on the bins and he gave us an old inflatable dinghy that had been slung out (with good reason). We fixed it up with a puncture kit and took to Ouse beach – yes, there's a beach in York! We weren't the only ones, on nice days this was a right hot spot for kids and families, there was even a Mr. Whippy van on the adjacent cobbles. We'd climb in and out of disused buildings, looking for stuff, and then back to the dingy or for a spot of jumping off the ledge on the 'wrong side' of Ouse Bridge. When we returned in 2002, it was along the river that I noticed the most change, the buildings that we used to climb in and out of were now occupied and had businesses in them, trendy wine bars, penthouse flats had sprung up, and the beach was now covered in bloody geese. I also remember what Bishopthorpe Road was like before it became 'Bishy Road'. Back in the 80's, I used to visit my mate who lived in a bedsit up the road, just by the little Sainsburys there. His landlady had a number of those (now) expensive 3 storey houses in a row and they were filled with depressing bedsits, rigged electric meters, smell of damp, and if you didn't lock your door your stuff would get nicked In 2008, before we opened The Pig & Pastry but after we'd crossed the line of no return (after remortgaging the house and selling a couple of kids), the financial crisis was deepening. Every morning, before heading to work, the news was just doom and gloom, big businesses going under, banks going tits up and the country sliding into recession. Even Pick n' Mix sweets couldn't save Woolworths. Add to that, many of our friends were dead against us opening a café on Bishopthorpe Road, 'it's too far out of town', 'how many sandwiches do you think you can sell in a little neighborhood café' and so on... (Although to be fair, most were actually really supportive and could see the potential.)
Since then, we've been lucky to have some creative and forward thinking people looking out for the street. Shortly after we opened, Piers & Andy at Cycle Heaven helped to start it all up, by encouraging the traders on the street to organise and work together. The following years saw the BRTA (Bishopthorpe Road Traders Assoc) go from strength to strength with Frankie & Johnny Hayes and the BRTA pushing the 'Bishy Road' brand forward, and it's thanks to them that we've had successful street parties, the magic of Le Tour de France, and a great Christmas scene. The main difference on Bishopthorpe Road? In 2008, It definitely felt like a massive gamble, if I was coming here in 2018 I doubt I'd lose as much sleep, you've got yourself a ready made footfall and a demographic. I've always seen York as a bit mainstream, a bit safe, but now you've got an amazing street like Micklegate on the turn for the better (with one of the best restaurants in Skosh), amazing craft beer and street food down at Brew York, Spark realising Picadillys potential with an exciting project bringing independent creatives together, and we've got the Art of Protest championing street art in and around York. I definitely think we're finally seeing some creative change.
INDIAN STREET FOOD • CRAFT BEER “These guys know their stuff, and it shows.”
“ You don’t miss the meat.”
“First rate Indian food at a bargain price.”
“Great for a first date or even a 100th date, this bar has cocktails, craft beers & delicious dishes.”
“The dream pairing of craft beer & food.” Wed 2nd May • 7.30pm - 11pm
Party Monster Ball Sasha Velour, Trinity Taylor, Vander Von Odd, James St. James, Hungry Thur 3rd May
Walk Off The Earth + The Darenots Sat 5th May
Live at Leeds Mon 7th May
Blossoms Fri 11th May
Thur 24th May • 5pm - 11pm
Mon 11th Jun
Tue 28th Aug
Mon 29th Oct
Britrock Must Be Destroyed!
The Feeling - Twelve Years and Home Tour
Reef, The Wildhearts, Terrorvision, Dodgy Sat 26th May
Slam Dunk Festival Sun 27th May • 9pm - 6am
Digital Society Paul van Dyk, Neelix, John O’Callaghan, Simon Patterson, Standerwick, Sean Tyas, Shugz, Sam Mitcham
Narcos - Capturing Pablo Tue 29th May Courtney Barnett and the Cali Cartel Sat 12th May • 6pm - 10pm
Rita Ora Sun 13th May
+ Loose Tooth Fri 1st Jun
The Doors Alive
Sat 9th Jun • 6.30pm - 12am The King is Back: Ben Portsmouth is Elvis That Manchester Night: The Clone Roses, Sun 20th May The Smiths Ltd, Mo Gilligan AKA Mo The Comedian The Courtbetweeners, appymundays, Wed 23rd May DJ Clint Boon Sparks
Sat 16th Jun
Alice in Chains Mon 18th Jun • 5pm
England vs Tunisia Sun 24th Jun • 11am
England vs Panama Thur 28th Jun • 5pm
England vs Belgium Fri 29th Jun
Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley Sat 30th Jun
The Dreamboys Wed 11th Jul
Oh Sees Sat 25th Aug • 7.30pm - 11pm
An Evening with Alaska Thunderfvck 5000
Fri 7th Sep
Definitely Mightbe A Tribute to Oasis
Sat 3rd Nov • 6.30pm
Killing Joke Wed 7th Nov
Fri 14th Sep
The Southmartins (Tribute to The Beautiful South & The Housemartins) Sat 15th Sep • 6pm - 10pm
Lewis Capaldi Sat 10th Nov • 6pm - 10pm
The Decemberists Thur 15th Nov • 7pm - 11pm
Elvana: Elvis Fronted Nirvana
Sat 17th Nov • 6pm - 10pm
Thur 11th Oct
Bjorn Again performing the Greatest Hits of ABBA
Tom Grennan Sat 20th Oct • 6pm - 10pm
Dr John Cooper Clarke
“Some of best street food in Britain.”
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25 Best Vegetarian Restaurants Sunday Times
“The food is excellent, the beer on point, & the staff are enthusiastic ambassadors for both.”
Best Cheap Eats Runner Up Observer Food Monthly
“A no-two-mouthfuls-the-same delight.” The Guardian
“A game changer. Everything it does, it does right.”
21 British Street Foods You Must Try Before You Die Buzzfeed Top 10 UK Indian Restaurants TimeOut
Fri 14th Dec
Sat 15th Dec • 8pm - 1am
Tue 23rd Oct • 7pm -11pm
Love Train – X-Mas Disco Ball
LEEDS - 6 MILL HILL • LS1 5DQ MANCHESTER - 61 PICCADILLY • M1 2AG
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Words: Jess Mountford @chalkingheads_signwriter Photography: Jeremy Kelly @jeremykelly_
Over the past year and a half I have been working as a freelance sign writer under the name ‘Chalking Heads’; something I never expected would happen, but I’m certainly glad that it has. I moved to Leeds in my early 20’s to study Fine Art at Leeds Met, and stuck around because I’m rather fond of the place. I’ve always been interested in working with my hands; I took a huge interest in learning how to use heavy duty machinery during my student years, and this developed further on an artist residency in Germany a few years back. There, I had access to a huge workshop, two badass Danish mentors, and a vast range of manual and power tools. The experience allowed me to expand my skill set, and it was pretty cool that I was being co-taught all of this by a woman, Maria Gondek. Fast forward a few years and now I’m trying to make a living through a craft I respect and really enjoy. I got into sign writing through working in the hospitality trade, always jumping at the chance to write the daily specials or drinks offers on blackboards, and then invested in some chalk pens and challenged myself to get better at it. I approached Kieran Hadley (Third Eye Signs), who was happy to pass on his valuable knowledge and help develop my practice. Kieran specialises in traditional hand painted and custom lettering, and I now have the pleasure of working alongside him as he gives the shop fronts and building sides of Leeds a facelift.
An average day sign writing involves being up a ladder and contorting limbs to be at the right height of the surface I’m working on. It usually means being covered in paint, chalk and dust; due to working with power tools, harsh materials and often outdoors, my hands mostly look like they’re made of sandpaper (no matter how much I moisturise them), and more often than not, I have dried on paint fused between the cracks and nail beds; it’s extremely glamorous! I’m often given creative license to do what I think works well, which is always plenty of fun. I’m not computer graphics based and prefer to design boards by hand and use good old fashioned maths and eye when drawing them up. Of course, every so often mistakes do happen, I’m only human after all; it’s certainly frustrating but you learn to make less time-consuming mistakes as you go; luckily they’re always fixable. The majority of my work comes in the form of hand lettering and illustrating A-Boards / Menu boards within businesses dotted around Leeds. I’ve had the opportunity to make work for some amazing independents and had the pleasure of meeting the faces behind them, such as Jo Myers (Greedy Pig/ The Swine That Dines), Lydia and Bobbi (Short Press), Warren J Jones (Mrs. Athas), Emma Bearman (Playful Anywhere), Ste Thomas (Rabbit Hole Travelling Coffee Shop), Rob and Illiana (The Tetley) Stephen and Sam (If Coffee), Simon and Kamil (Fettle), Rex Rixon (Rex’s Emporium) to name a few. It’s great that there is a fairly equal gender mix. And in the pipeline I’ll be making a sign for the incredible Leeds based embroidery queen Hayley Mills-Styles for her upcoming solo exhibition in September. One of the best things I’ve learned about Sign Writing is the community of people within it; everyone looks out for one another, people are always sharing advice and skills and swapping learning material. There’s no prejudice or discrimination, and there are other women, such as calligrapher Ellie Hayward, doing amazing signs for places like Hyde Park Book Club. Even those at the top of their game are more than happy to support other artists, no matter who they are or what level they’re at. The general consensus of sign painters want the knowledge to be passed on to keep the craft alive, and hopefully one day I’ll get the opportunity to do the same for someone.
Words: Marko Husak
SARAH LEMANSKI Noisette Bakehouse Once you’ve tried Sarah’s Nutter Butter Brownies, there is no going back. Featuring creamy peanut butter marbled with handmade salted peanut praline in a cocoa rich brownie batter, this tasty square of delight puts other chocolate based goodies to shame. Find them at North Star Coffee Roasters where they, along with other Noisette Bakes treats, are available permanently. Sarah won Baker Of The Year at The Young British Foodie awards.
IRA SILVERMAN Ira B’s
Our resident Taste Hunter, Marko of Bundobust takes time off from trawling the city’s lesser discovered eateries to tell us about 13 women who he already knew were incredible to the local food scene.
MAUREEN WILKES Maureen’s Caribbean Takeaway Maureen started cooking her now legendary Caribbean tucker in 1991 at youth and community centres in and around Chapeltown. She finally got her permanent bricks and mortar site at 105 Roundhay Rd. in August 2003. Swing by this laid back canteen and takeaway for a Jamaican breakfast, fried fish, curried goat and macaroni cheese.
MANJIT KAUR Manjit’s Kitchen A true pioneer of the street food scene, Manjit has cooked up at festivals, private events and the streets of Leeds since 2010. Her vegetarian Indian food has won tonnes of local and national awards and accolades. Go follow Manjit on twitter, she is funny, or go see her for a chai and a chaat at her permanent spot in Kirkgate Market.
You won’t be forgetting Ira once you have met her. Her love of conversation and banter make it impossible to slurp on that Matzah Ball soup or chow down on that Rueben sandwich in silence. Ira has been cooking for a living since she left school and opened the first Ira B’s New York style Jewish Deli in 1989. For me, she is one of the greatest personalities in the Leeds food and drink scene. Call in and be entertained.
BECS WINLOW The Reliance My go-to Leeds restaurant The Reliance opened in 2001 but Becs didn’t join partner Joss until 2003 after working in bars and restaurants in London and abroad. The ‘Reli’ is a pioneering restaurant influenced by the early gastro pubs and laid back restaurants of the Big Smoke. It still is at the top of its game with its natural wine menu, cured in-house charcuterie and simple tasty dishes. Becs is mainly working behind the scenes or pouring the good stuff at Wayward, the Reliance’s new wine shop in Chapel Allerton.
LIZ COTTAM Home Liz gained a national reputation as a chef after reaching the semi-final of Masterchef. She teamed up with Mark Owens of Ilkley’s Box Tree for a 3 month residency at the city’s New Ellington Hotel, and it was here where the idea of Home was born. Home is a fantastic restaurant that will surely achieve a Michelin star in its first full year of operating. The dishes are inspired by seasonal British produce and the menu changes on a monthly basis. The Sunday Lunch is something else.
CLAIRE KITCHING Friends Of Ham Claire is one of the most tenacious and hard working people I know in the industry. Her eye for detail and consistency is inspiring. The level of detail that has gone into the Friends of Ham is next level. Everything from the furniture, menu design, produce, staff training and finer details is top quality. Claire will no doubt be putting in this level of hard work and determination into Lucky Number 7, an American inspired beer and sports bar that is opening later this year.
MINAL PATEL Kaushy Patel, Prashad Minal took over the reigns in the kitchen at Prashad from Mother In Law Kaushy and continued the tradition of cooking vibrant vegetarian Gujarati food. Although Minal is pushing the boundaries and taking Prashad on a new journey with exciting new dishes, Kaushy’s original dishes such as coconut pethis, chaat and samosas are still on the menu. Minal will be in the kitchen at Ox Club for 2 days during Leeds Indie Food. I can’t wait.
BRYONY BROWNHILL Little Leeds Beer House After working at Sheffield Tap, Bryony moved to Leeds with (now) husband Rich to help set up Tapped on Boar Lane. Together they built up a list of beery contacts, the experience and the know-how that inspired them to open Little Leeds Beer House. Bryony’s knowledge of the beer that she sells is tip-top making Little Leeds one of my favourite place to drink in the city. Call in one lazy afternoon and enjoy a few halves of some of the world’s best beer.
JO MYERS Greedy Pig / Swine That Dines In 20011 Jo Myers and husband Stuart opened the Greedy Pig with an aim to cook high quality, seasonal food. Their breakfasts of own recipe black pudding, house merguez or spicy cornbread quickly became talk of the town. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings Greedy Pig turns into Swine That Dines with a small menu of 7 dishes that is designed for 2 people sharing. Get down for their monthly Roots to Shoots meat free menu.
LAURA KENT Yorkshire Wine School If you want to learn more about wine then Laura Kent is the person you need to listen to. Laura’s Yorkshire Wine School runs fun yet informative courses for both industry and wine lovers alike. Get booked in if you want to learn about wine in a friendly and social environment, taste a wide range of wines side by side so that you can taste the difference, receive impartial advice on other wines you might like to try or learn how to match wine with food.
SARA BIRKENSHAW Leeds Gin After working in events management, Sara Birkenshaw, a huge gin fan, decided to give it all up up & set up a distillery in Hunslet. Now Leeds Gin is available in the city’s finest bars and retailers. The recipe includes the usual botanicals and spices such as coriander, star anise and cinnamon, but it is Yorkshire Rhubarb that gives Leeds Gin its unique taste.
RENA GUELLER The Box Tree Arguably West Yorkshire’s finest restaurant, The Box tree regained its Michelin Star in 2005 just 1 year after Rena Gueller and husband Simon took over the restaurant. Rena works front of house with true Yorkshire hospitality with a devout commitment for delivering a high quality fine dining experience. Simon leads the kitchen with his exceptional and innovative cuisine.
Words & Photography: George Hall @tightlinesmusic
No longer bound by old and boring preconceptions, Jazz music is enjoying a resurgence; young men and women are expressing themselves through this versatile and exciting medium. There is a new wave of British Jazz; musicians and bands such as Ezra Collectice, Nubya Garcia and Shabaka Hutchings (to name but a few) are putting improvisation at the forefront of their music. Taking influences from Grime, Hip Hop, Afrobeat and many more, multiple genres are blending together to give Jazz a new sound. One of the hotspots for this comeback can be found right here in Leeds - thanks to Leeds College of Music’s prestigious Jazz course, a constant stream of talented, forwardthinking Jazz musicians are now calling Leeds their natural habitat. As part of this surge of talent, more female Jazz musicians and promoters are becoming prominent. In a genre that has been so male dominated for decades, it’s refreshing to see women at the forefront. After meeting and talking to a few of the scene’s foremost figures, it soon becomes clear, there is a real sense of community among women in Jazz, everyone speaks so highly of everyone else and there is so much support for one another. From saxophonists to promoters, Free Jazz composers to MC’s, there is such an eclectic range of skills and abilities on show. Here’s an introduction to five of the many women important to this resurgence of Jazz in Leeds.
Grace Pitkin Originally a classical pianist, Grace now studies the music degree at Leeds University. She runs a Jazz night called Madame Jazz and formulated the night to create a platform for female Jazz musicians. I was lucky enough to attend the first of these nights at Hyde Park Book Club and was overwhelmed by the feeling of community. Not only was the room packed, the atmosphere was completely free of judgement something that is very rare to find at a Jazz gig.
Jemma Freese Jemma is a very active musician. She plays a wide spectrum of music spanning from Experimental Pop to completely improvised Jazz. She fronts her own project ‘Freese Trio’ as well as being involved in multiple bands: J Frisco, DOMI and JOULE. Originally deriving from Sheffield, she comments on how many more opportunities arise in Leeds by comparison. “Before I would never have thought to front my own band but now I feel there are fewer pre-conceptions associated with gender and music. Leeds provides a platform where I feel safe to experiment within music.”
Beth Herrington/Lydia Kotsirea Although not strictly rooted in Jazz, Lydia and Beth are the brains behind Cinnamon - a spicy night promoting both art and music. Their most recent night ‘Cinnawomen’ took place on International Women’s Day and exhibited predominantly women artists and musicians. As well as this, Beth and Lydia are extremely talented performers. Beth leads her own project B-ahwe and also sings in Hip Hop ensemble ‘Lausse the Cat’. Lydia fronts 8 piece soul band Mamilah.
Jasmine Whalley Jasmine is primarily an alto saxophone player, she leads her own band ‘The Jasmine Whalley Quintet’ and plays as part of 7 piece Latin Jazz ensemble Têtes de Pois. She thanks Brendan Duffy for inspiring her in her earlier years, Brendan helps run LYJRO (Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra), a fantastic organisation that encourages young people to get involved in Jazz.
It’s an exciting time for musicians in Leeds, particularly Jazz. There are many opportunities and it’s clear that the real sense of community is what makes this so special. It’s exciting to think about what knock-on effect this will have on the next generation of musicians. Young people seeing relatable role models, such as the women featured above, will play such a big part in solving some of the gender equality issues associated with music today.
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Words: Emma Low insta @potyertitsawayluv Photography: Archer
With These Hands so personal to them. My aim isn’t just to include everyone, it’s to make people feel empowered. I think it’s so easy to feel uncomfortable with your body with all the social pressures of today, so hopefully by seeing your boobs on an inanimate object might change your perspective to a more positive one. To create them, I use air drying clay and I make slab pots. The first one I made was actually a coil pot and I found it so frustrating! Slab pots are definitely my jam. I did a 10 week night course and learnt lots about working with clay, which I would definitely recommend. It made me more confident, I met loads of nice people, and got to create some cool stuff! Pots can take anywhere from 20-45 minutes to make. They then need to dry, after that I paint them with acrylic paint and varnish them.
I’m Emma, a recently turned 28-year-old, originally from Edinburgh. Since then I’ve been a bit of a nomad and called Glasgow, Manchester, and now Leeds, home. I live with my boyfriend, Archer, and our very beautiful squishyfaced cat, Lady.
I run a pottery business called ‘Pot yer tits away luv’ that represents realistic female form; basically, I make pots that have tits on them. I do also make pots with penises on but for some reason they aren’t as popular… I started making the pots initially as presents. I always make Christmas presents for my friends and family, and in 2016 I decided to make presents out of clay, even though I had never used clay before. As a joke, Archer said he wanted my tits on a pot, and so I made him just that! We hadn’t been together for a long time so I thought it would be a funny present. We still have it - it actually looks nothing like my boobs - my skills have improved since then, thankfully! One of his friends had mentioned how they’d love one with their boobs, which got me thinking about the lack of diversity when it comes to breasts in society.
Everyone is my inspiration when it comes to making my pots, I have met so many people during the last year. I have seen more boobs than I’ve had hot dinners and it has been fabulous! My work is half commissions, so that side is heavily influenced by the people who are buying them. The other side comes from lots of different things, I especially love the work of Sally Hewett; she is incredible and a huge inspiration to me!
I also get inspired by living in Leeds, there’s always something going on. As a city, it reminds me a lot of Glasgow, which is where I call home. Having moved here at 26 it was quite difficult to find my way, I was working full-time in a job that I wasn’t loving, and making new friends as an adult can be tricky. I feel like I’m slowly slotting into place now. I’m selling my work in Short Press (my first Leeds stockist!) and I never get lost anymore. There’s so much going on in the art scene and I made a promise to myself that I’d get out and see more of it. Leeds is full of creative people and I think you can sense that.
Boobs are everywhere - on mugs, phone cases, t-shirts etc. but they are all the same generic and ‘perfect’ boobs. So I decided to embark on a journey that included pots which were inclusive. Since starting, I’ve created tit pots that are saggy, covered in stretch marks, tiny, freckly, veiny, pierced, tattooed, hairy, scarred. I take custom orders, meaning that you can request any pot you’d like. I’ve had some amazing requests over the last year, and it’s been incredible having so many people trust me to make something
THE NORTH LEEDS FOOD FESTIVAL
30 June - 1 July / Roundhay Park
NOEL GALL AGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS
THE GREAT YORKSHIRE VEGAN FESTIVAL
Following up from his platinum-selling 2015 album “Chasing Yesterday”, Gallagher returns to the stage with his brand new release, “Who Built The Moon” (2017).
With over 130 stalls to choose from, your choices certainly won’t be limited at the Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival. As well as all the delicious food on display, Leeds Town Hall will also play host to cookery demos, workshops, yoga classes, children’s activities, and bars.
7 May / First Direct Arena
DAR A Ó BRIAIN: VOICE OF REASON
Hungry? The North Leeds Food Festival is returning to Roundhay Park again this year. Even more mouth-watering street food - from paella to pad thai - will be combined with fine artisan produce and superb live music from soul singer Malaika.
16 - 17 June / 10.30 / Leeds Town Hall
WICKED: THE MUSICAL
7 June - 7 July / Leeds Grand Theatre Winner of over 100 international awards, Wicked has been casting its magical spell across the world for over a decade and continues to break record after record.
6&7 May / Leeds Grand Theatre Many of you will know him from the hugely successful British TV Show Mock The Week. Now, he’s bringing his own comedy masterclass to Leeds Grand Theatre.
LEEDS CIT Y MUSEUM COMMUNIT Y CHOIR 1 June / Leeds City Museum
SL AM DUNK MUSIC FESTIVAL 26 May / Leeds City Centre
Join the museum’s Community Choir for an afternoon of fun, especially for those who would like to join in and sing! The choir takes inspiration from the museum itself, and its collections, in the songs they perform.
Good Charlotte, Jimmy Eat World, PVRIS, Taking Back Sunday, and many more. Millennium Square, O2 Academy Leeds, and First Direct Arena amongst others.
WORLD TRIATHLON SERIES 9 - 10 June / all day / Leeds
The UTI World Triathlon makes a return to Leeds again this spring for what will be a tremendously fun day; whether you’re involved yourself or watching from the sidelines. Saturday’s action will be contained around Roundhay Park, whilst Sunday’s races will feature elite athletes as they journey towards Millennium Square in Leeds City Centre.
MEDIEVAL CR AFT FAIR
4 July / Leeds University Union As part of the 25th annual International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds, come down to Leeds University Union to discover beautiful items inspired by the Middle Ages, or created using historically-inspired techniques.
BELGR AVE FEAST
9 June & 14 July / Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen A staple in my calendar and certainly a staple in most of yours! This monthly event is held over Belgrave’s 3 floors, and offers a huge array of street foods as well as craft ales.
HIMAL AYAN FASHION
May - July / Lotherton Hall THE GIRL ON THE TR AIN
12 May - 9 June / West Yorkshire Playhouse Follow the story of Rachel Watson, the girl who harmlessly observes the lives of an in-love couple who share her daily train commute, only to get herself caught up in a thrilling mystery that nobody, including herself, anticipated.
THE COMEDY SESSIONS
Himalayan Fashion will astound you with its variety and colour! Don’t miss this stunning new exhibition of fashion and textiles in a unique country house setting.
5 May - 14 July / The HiFi Club Yorkshire’s longest running independent comedy night. Past acts to grace the stage include Reginald D Hunter, Alan Carr, Jason Manford, Russell Howard, John Bishop & Russell Kane to name but a few.
Feature by Ellie Palmer @elliepalmtree
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